A Sea of Change and an Ocean of Progress at CHOW

June 20, 2018

Sustainable fish industry leaders from coast-to-coast gather in DC for the premiere U.S. oceans and Great Lakes conference

As one of the world’s largest restaurant companies, McDonald’s size and reach gives us the responsibility and opportunity to take action on some of today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. We embrace this opportunity to drive progress where it’s most relevant, and to do so by collaborating with millions of customers, employees, franchisees, suppliers and other partners. We call this using our Scale for Good, and we are using it to build a better McDonald’s. 

From June 5-7, McDonald’s had the opportunity to share how we are using our Scale for Good through the lens of our sustainable fish story at the Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) Conference, in Washington, DC. Sustainable fish and fisheries are an important part of our journey to building a better McDonald’s so we welcomed the chance to provide CHOW attendees a glimpse into our Sustainable Fisheries Program, launched in 2001.

Sustainably managed fisheries are those that maintain healthy fish stocks, minimize the impact of fishing on ecosystems and manage the seas, oceans and fisheries responsibly. 

CHOW, hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, is the nation’s premiere ocean-policy conference to celebrate our ocean and Great Lakes. This year’s conference brought together an interdisciplinary audience of over 600 passionate individuals including academics, NGOs, policymakers, industry and media to discuss current challenges, case studies and solutions facing fish, fisheries, oceans, aquaculture and the overall environment. 

Also at CHOW, we released an exciting, interactive way to learn about sustainable fish in the form of a card game called “Reel it In!” Together with longtime partner, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), “Reel it In!” is a card game intended to teach the importance of sustainable fishing to the next generation responsible for healthy oceans. The game, featuring colorful illustrations of Alaska pollock, is available to download online.

Our partnership with MSC stems beyond just this game as McDonald’s USA has worked with this important organization for five years to ensure every Filet-O-Fish® sandwich in the U.S. is MSC-certified. In addition, we’ve made a commitment to source 100% of wild-caught fish globally from verified sustainable sources by 2020. 

“The Marine Stewardship Council is proud to be a part of McDonald’s sustainability journey, and its dedication to supporting fishermen and companies doing the right thing. Supporting communities that depend on fish, promoting sustainable practices, and ensuring traceability along the supply chain through the MSC program help to ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy seafood for generations to come,” said MSC’s Brian Perkins, Regional Director Americas. 

The card game was distributed at CHOW’s kick-off event on June 5, the Oceans Gala. Attendees included champions of marine and Great Lakes stewardship such as Dr. Sylvia Earle and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Former Intel President and CEO Gordon Moore and his wife Betty Moore were awarded a Lifetime Achievement award for the work of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which focuses on positive outcomes for future generations. Other honorees included Volunteer of the Year Award recipient Captain Will Benson, who continues to further the public’s understanding of conservation and the need for sanctuaries, and the BBC, Conservation Innovation Award winner the network’s docuseries “Blue Planet II,” highlighting species, seascapes and the challenges facing our ocean.